DfT announces latest road casualty
figures at National Safer Roads
Partnerships' Conference


The Department for Transport announced the 2017 road casualty figures yesterday (September 27, 2018) on day two of the National Safer Roads Partnerships’ Conference.

Principal Research Officer, Catherine Mottram, of the Road User Licensing, Insurance and Safety team (pictured), told delegates that there were 1793 reported road deaths in 2017, an increase of 1 on the 2016 figure.

On the day that the ‘Reported road casualties Great Britain, annual report: 2017’ was published, she told the conference there were 170,993 casualties of all severities in 2017 - a 6% decrease compared to 2016.

Road Safety Support (RSS) has now started analysing the data, and seven-year casualty reduction progress reports for every force area in England and Wales will be made available to RSS members next week.

Organised by RSS, the theme of this year’s National Safer Roads Partnerships’ Conference was tougher enforcement and the technology and tactics in use across the world to drive down deaths and injuries.

The event, held in Manchester on September 26 and 27, brought together over 200 attendees from police forces, safer roads partnerships, highway authorities, charities and organisations from the UK and overseas.

Chaired by Patricia Hayes, Director General, of Roads, Devolution and Motoring at the Department for Transport, day one of the event focused on technology, the use of overt and covert enforcement and behaviour change.

Kulveer Ranger, Vice President, Strategy and Communications, at ATOS UK & I and former Director for Transport Policy to the Mayor of London, delivered a keynote presentation about smoothing traffic flow. This was followed by an update on the progress of road safety from Jesse Norman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Roads, Local Transport and Devolution.

Pierre-Alexandre Cousin, Lieutenant-colonel, Direction Generale de la Gendarmerie Nationale, spoke about the French approach to enforcement. He told delegates that putting “drivers in a world of uncertainty” was the key to reducing offending. He said: “We need to find a new solution. The ‘surprise’ tactic is a big part of it.”

Egbert-Jan van Hasselt, Commissioner, from the National Police of the Netherlands, spoke about mobile phone detections and the covert technology in operation on Dutch roads.

Deirdre O’Reilly, Head of Social Research and Behaviour Change, from Highways England, described the challenge of changing drivers’ attitudes and behaviour on the roads. She explained that in order to change driver behaviour we must make their current behaviour more difficult or “less do-able.”

Other speakers included Sam Li, Senior Innovation Officer, from Transport for Greater Manchester, who spoke about the City Verve and See.Sense project and his work on ‘Understanding the Invisible Cyclist.’

Steve Davies, Specialist Operations Inspector, at South Wales Police, discussed the success of Operation Tramline, in which a heavy goods vehicle is used to carry out patrols on main arterial routes on the lookout for potentially dangerous driving behaviour.

Michael Brown OBE, Chief Inspector and Mental Health Co-ordinator for the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing, discussed the issue of mental health and how that links to road safety.

Day two, chaired by Meredydd Hughes, RSS Director and Executive Chairman, focused on casualty data and the progress being made in reducing deaths and injuries on the roads.

Matt Rodda MP, the Shadow Minister for Local Transport, delivered the Keynote Address, and Ruth Purdie, the General Secretary of TISPOL, spoke about enforcement across Europe and the success of the 2018 Project EDWARD campaign.

Paul Jackson, Divisional Business Development Director, of Tracsis, discussed the importance of traffic and people movement data for road safety analysis.

Claire Smith, Head of Transport Accessibility and Road Safety for the Scottish Government, explained how Scotland is set to achieve its 2020 road casualty targets and about its vision for the future.

Ian Manley, Casualty Reduction Sergeant for Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Constabularies, spoke about Operation Velo, an initiative, committed to reducing cycle casualties on the road by informing drivers and cyclists of road sharing safety advice.

Other speakers included Steven Cowell and Carl Hughes, of Volkswagen Group UK, who focused on driver assist systems, and Michael Talbot, from Meridian Mobility Technology, who explained the UK’s approach to connected and autonomous vehicles.

The conference was sponsored by a variety of related companies and organisations who exhibited their products and services during the two-day event.

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